Canadian Intelligence Corps (C Int C)

Canadian Intelligence Corps (C Int C), History and Insignia

Data current to 9 Sep 2021.

Intelligence Operators and Officers provide military intelligence support in operations, planning and decision-making.  Their work has an impact on military and national security, and the political and public relations of the government.

The early history of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch has been well-documented in Major Robert Elliot's book "Scarlet to Green".  After a number of interviews with him I am following up on our Intelligence Branch history from where he left off in 1963, to the present day in four volumes under the title "Out of Darkness - Light", (a translation of the Intelligence Branch motto "E Tenebris Lux").  The books may be found online within this website.  You will find a few photos on these pages with items of interest that relate to our Intelligence Branch history, including memorabilia associated with the Canadian Corps of Guides, the Canadian Cyclist Corps and the Canadian Intelligence Corps.  It should be useful to collector's and those interested in the history of our trade.  Acorn sends.

French Translation of the technical data presented here would be appreciated.  Corrections, amendments and suggested changes may be emailed to the author at

Une traduction au français pour l'information technique présente serait grandement apprécié.  Vos corrections, changements et suggestions sont les bienvenus, et peuvent être envoyés au

When referring to the G2 and members of the C Int C on the radio, the codeword "Acorn" was used.

A few of the cap badges worn by Canadian Intelligence personnel since 1901: Corps of Guides, Canadian Cyclist Corps, C Int C with King's Crown and Queen's Crown, Security Branch, and Intelligence Branch cap badges.

4th Troop of Volunteer Cavalry of Montreal (or Guides)

The uniform shown in this photograph of the 1860s combined elements of British Dragoon and Light Dragoon styles. The blue tunic had white frogging and lace. The dragoon-style helmet was in white metal with a white horsehair plume.  (DND Library)

The 4th Troop of Volunteer Cavalry of Montreal (or Guides) The Royal Guides or Governor General's Body Guard for Lower Canada were formed on 7 February 1862 as the 3rd Volunteer Militia Troop of Cavalry of Montreal.  The uniform shown in this photograph of the 1860s combined elements of British Dragoon and Light Dragoon styles. The blue tunic had white frogging and lace. The dragoon-style helmet was in white metal with a white horsehair plume. (DND Library).

Renamed “The Royal Guides or Governor General’s Body Guard for Lower Canada,” and later “The Guides,” the unit took part in the actions to repel Fenian raiders attempting to invade Canada in 1866.  Following the initial Fenian incursions, a combined force of British Regulars and Canadian militia reached the border area on 9 June 1866, only to find that most of the Fenians had already withdrawn.  However, the Royal Guides, a volunteer cavalry unit composed primarily of Montreal Hunt Club members, encountered a party of about 200 Fenians near Pigeon Hill. Under the command of Captain D. Lorne MacDougall, the Guides charged with drawn sabres, jumped over the Fenians' breastwork defences and hacked at the Irish Americans as they raced for the border. The  Guides' charge resulted in the taking of 16 Fenian prisoners.  The Guides were being disbanded in 1869, shortly before a second round of Fenian raids in 1870.  With the Fenians openly regrouping, and with a powerful, covertly hostile neighbour to the south, Canada needed to strengthen her defences. Due in some part to the unifying effect the Fenian threat had on their Canadian subjects, the British passed the British North America Act in 1867, creating the Dominion of Canada. Shortly after the new nation was established, the British government began to withdraw the Regular garrisons at Kingston and Quebec. The Dominion of Canada was expected to provide for its own defence. Accordingly, Canada passed the first Militia Act in 1868, under which an administrative system was established to train and organize a 40,000-member militia force.

Canada General Service Medal (1866-1870)

The Canada General Service Medal was a campaign medal awarded by the Canadian Government to both Imperial and Canadian forces for duties related to the suppression of the Fenian raids and Riel's First Rebellion, the latter being generally referred to as the Red River Expedition.   The medal was not issued until 1899 and had to be applied for.  The period for applying for the medal was later extended to 1907, and then to 1928.  With late applications, approximately 16,668 medals were awarded , including 15,300 to members of Canadian units.

The obverse of the medal bears the head of Queen Victoria with the legend VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX, while the reverse depicts the red ensign of Canada surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves with the word CANADA above.  The medal was always awarded with a clasp, with 20 medals awarded with all three clasps.  The number of clasps indicated below includes those that appear on multi-clasp medals.


For services related to the Fenian raids of 1866.  8,591 clasps were awarded.


For services related to the suppression of the Red River Rebellion.   8,606 clasps were awarded.


For services related to the Fenian raids of 1870.  565 clasps were awarded.

Scout Units in Western Canada

Captain John French and his Scouts in Western Canada.  (Glenbow Archives NA 363-5); and (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3246011)

During the North-West Rebellion, various irregular cavalry units were used as scouts. One of these scout units, drawn from the Dominion Land Survey, was called the “Intelligence Corps.” With a strength of three officers and thirty men performing long-range reconnaissance and light cavalry functions, it was the first unit to be designated an “Intelligence” unit in the British Empire. These scout units, the forerunners of the Fort Garry Horse and North Saskatchewan Regiment, were disbanded by 18 September 1885.

Dominion Land Surveyors Intelligence Corps

One of the men in service with the Dominion Land Surveyors Intelligence Corps, 1885.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 7489)

1885, Dominion Land Surveyors Intelligence Corps.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo)

North West Canada Medal

The medal was originally approved for presentation to soldiers taking part in the suppression of the Rebellion of 1885, but only to those who served west of Port Arthur.  Award of the medal was also approved for some of the volunteers who participated in key actions, including the crew of the steamer "Northcote" which was recognized for its services at the Battle of Batoche, and members of the Prince Albert Volunteers who fought at Duck Lake.  A grant of 320 acres of land or scrip of $80 were also awarded to these recipients.

Saskatchewan Bar: Awarded to all those who took part in any or all of the main encounters during the rebellion. These took place along the Saskatchewan River at Fish Creek, Batoche, Cut Knife and Frenchman's Butte.

One example of a soldier awarded this medal is Trooper William Edward De Renzy, who was recruited into the Dominion Land Surveyors Intelligence Corps during the 1885 rebellion in Northwest Canada, when the Metis (mixed-raced First Nations) took up arms against the government.  He would have had knowledge of the locals inhabitants, their languages and their lands, and conducted intelligence missions in the guise of a D.L.S. employee.

Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force (India)

QOCG Cap badge, and horse brass insignia.

British officers of the Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force (India).  Lieutenant Walter Hamilton VC with his Indian troopers who defended the residency at Kabul on 3 Sep 1879, stands on the right.

The Afghanistan Medal was awarded to members of the British and Indian armies who served in Afghanistan between 1878–1880 during the Second Afghan War, the first Afghan War being from 1839–1842.

The Queen’s Own Corps of Guides of India was a regiment of the British Indian Army raised in Peshawar by Lt. Harry Lumsden in December 1846.  The brainchild of British Army Officer Sir Henry Lawrence, this unit had a reputation for innovation, individual initiative, endurance, daring and toughness in battle.  It was initially comprised of one troop of cavalry and two companies of infantry, expanding to a somewhat larger force over its history.  It was unusual unit for its time as it combined cavalry and infantry in the same regiment for many years. The Corps of Guides was always part of the renowned Frontier Force brigade. They were famous for being the first unit in the Indian or British Armies to dress in khaki. They were soon followed by the other Frontier Force regiments including the Canadian Corps of Guides.  They were often used in small detachments, usually supported by other troops such as the Sikhs and Gurkhas.  At least one of these Guides Officers served in Canada on exchange with the Canadian Corps of Guides.  George John Younghusband, The Story of the Guides, March 1908.

Boer War in South Africa

Queen's South Africa Medal

The Queen's South Africa Medal is a British campaign medal which was awarded to British and Colonial military personnel, civilians employed in official capacity and war correspondents who served in the Second Boer War in South Africa.  Altogether twenty-six clasps were awarded to recipients of the Queen's South Africa Medal, to indicate particular actions and campaigns of the Second Boer War from 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902.

2nd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa.  During the Second Boer War in South Africa, Canadian mounted troops gathered information of intelligence value with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse and British scout units.  

Canadian intelligence efforts in South Africa led to the appointment on 6 February 1901 of Lieutenant-Colonel V.B. Rivers, RCA, as the first Intelligence Staff Officer of the Canadian Militia.  (He is shown here as a Lt).  On 1 April 1903, the Corps of Guides was created in the Canadian Army. Under the new structure, a District Intelligence Officer responsible to Director General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) was appointed to oversee Corps of Guides units established in each of Canada’s twelve Military Districts. The first DGMI, Lieutenant-Colonel W.A.C. Denny, had a very small staff overseeing information collection and mapping, and approximately 185 militia officers serving the Canadian Corps of Guides.

Canadian Corps of Guides

Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Brereton Rivers, a former officer cadet at the Royal Military College of Canada was one of the first of a small band of  officers serving in an organization that was in effect the forerunner of Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch as it is known today.[2] He carried out the necessary staff work which led to the formation of the "Canadian Corps of Guides" as authorized by "General Order 61 of 01 April 1903." [3] This Order directed that at each of the 12 Military districts across Canada there would be a District Intelligence Officer (DIO) whose duties included command of the Corps of Guides in his District.The Corps of Guides (C of G) was a mounted corps of non-permanent Militia with precedence immediately following the Canadian . The officers, NCOs, and men were appointed individually to the headquarters staffs of various commands and districts to carry out Intelligence duties. From the authorizing order, it is apparent that one of the functions of the C of G was to ensure that, in the event of war on Canadian soil, the defenders would possess detailed and accurate information of the area of operations. The ranks of the Corps of Guides were filled quickly, and by the end of 1903, the General Officer Commanding the Militia was able to report that, “the formation of the Corps has been attended by the best possible results. Canada is now being covered by a network of Intelligence and capable men, who will be of great service to the country in collecting information of a military character and in fitting themselves to act as guides in their own districts to forces in the field. I have much satisfaction in stating that there is much competition among the best men in the country for admission into the Corps of Guides. Nobody is admitted into the Corps unless he is a man whose services are likely to be of real use to the country.” The training of the Corps began at once under the supervision of the . Special courses stressed the organization of foreign armies, military reconnaissance, and the staff duties of Intelligence officers. Instruction in drill and parade movements was kept to a minimum. Although primarily made up of individual officers and men, there was also an establishment for a mounted company of the Corps with one company allocated to each division. The strength of the company was 40 all ranks. Each Military District was sub-divided into local Guide Areas. The head of this organization was “a Director General of Military Intelligence (DGMI),” under the control of the General Officer Commanding (GOC). “The DGMI was charged with the collection of information on the military resources of Canada, the British Empire, and foreign countries.”

Corp of Guides Officer's cap badge with silver true and magnetic north arrows in a gold wreath, ca. 1901.  These symbols were integrated into the King's Crown cap badge in 1942, the Queen's Crown cap badge in 1952 and the present day Intelligence Branch cap badge from 1982.

Canadian Corps of Guides uniform, ca. 1901, Base Borden Military Museum, CFB Borden, Ontario.  Another C of G uniform is preserved in the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, New Brunswick.

Captain Tweedale, Corps of Guides. (Photo Courtesy Bryan Gagne)

Corps of Guides Capt Tweedale.  (Clive Law Photos)

Canadian Corps of Guides at Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, ca 1903.  (Lawrence Hurt Sitwell, Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-111891, courtesy of Clive Law)

Canadian Corps of Guides group photo post 1903.  (Photo courtesy of Clive Law)

Canadian Corps of Guides Officer, post 1903.  (Photo courtesy of Clive Law)

“The first DGMI was Brevet-Major William A.C. Denny, Royal Army Service Corps, psc, a veteran of South Africa.”  His staff included LCol Victor Brereton Rivers as ISO and two AISOs, Capt A.C. Caldwell and Capt W.B. Anderson responsible respectively for the Information and Mapping Branches, three Lieutenants, a Sergeant and two NCOs. All officers and men in the Districts were Militia. (As late as 1913 there were less than 3,000 men serving in the Canadian Militia). This was the basic organization for military Intelligence with which Canada entered the Great War.

(Steve Tijou Photo)

Capt George Bryant Schwartz (1890-1958), wearing a Corps of Guides cap badge.  Captain Bryant served with the 3rd Divisional Cyclist Company, Toronto.  He left for England in January 1916 and was part of the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion.  

By 1914, the Canadian Corps of Guides totaled some 500 all ranks.  When the Great War broke out, “the Corps of Guides volunteered for service in a body and a concentration...moved to Valcartier as part of the general mobilization” then in progress. It quickly became evident however, “that the Corps could not be employed under the conditions of warfare” for which it had been designed.   Given that their mounted scout role appeared inappropriate for war in Europe, many of the personnel serving with the Corps of Guides were absorbed into existing units and formations in the Canadian Army. Others became Intelligence staff officers and NCOs serving with the British Intelligence Corps. Some continued to serve in Canada with the Canadian Corps of Guides.  When the Militia units were mobilized in British Columbia they were concentrated within the 5th Western Cavalry.

5th Western Cavalry

5th Western Cavalry cap badge with C of G on the lower right wreath, ca. 1914.  When the Great War began, military units in British Columbia were mobilized and collected into the 5th Western Calvalry.  The C of G personnel included in this unit were the only ones officially mobilized.  In keeping with their role as mounted reconnaissance and intelligence collection personnel, many of the remaining C of G personnel went into the Canadian Cyclist Corps.

Minister Sam Hughes set up the battalion system and only allowed numbered Battalions.  People want names and characters to support & cheer for, so nicknames crept in as the war progressed.  Eventually, add-on names were recognized.  The government allowed special interests like the Tigers(football), Bantams and Irish to organize themselves.  The 5th Battalion (Western Cavalry), CEF, was known as "Tuxford's Dandy's, and was recruited in Brandon, Manitoba; Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Red Deer, Alberta and Merritt and Vernon, British Columbia -so it was really "Western" .  (Canadian Virtual Military Museum)

The Intelligence system created within the First Canadian Division prior to its deployment to France in 1915 served as the basis for the development of Intelligence structures generally throughout the Canadian Corps.  Intelligence personnel exploited reports from ground and aerial observers, patrols, aerial photography, Prisoners of War (PWs), and captured enemy documents. They conducted intelligence preparation of the battlefield activities and issued regular INTSUMs.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403628)

Soldiers taking a compass traverse on an Intelligence course at Camp Borden, Ontario, 26 Sep 1916.

Canadian Cyclist Corps

Canadian Cyclist Corps badges, ca 1914-1918, Author's Collection now in the New Brunswick Military History Museum, 5 Canadian Division Support Group Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Top: Canadian Cyclist Corps Battalion cap badge.

Centre Row: 1st Division Cyclists Company, 2nd Division Cyclists Company, 3rd Division Cyclists Company, 4th Division Cyclists Company cap badges.

Bottom Row: 5th Divisional Cyclists Company Overseas, and Divisional Cyclists Depot (Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company) cap badges.

Bicycle equipped soldiers of the 12th Brigade Signal HQ, Dury, East of Arras, Sep 1918. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522258)

Canadian Cyclist Corps, cyclist checking German dugout, Advance East of Arras, Sep 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194259)

Great War medals.

Military Cross (MC)

The Military Cross can be awarded to commissioned officers of the substantive rank of Captain or below (therefore acting and temporary Majors are eligible) or Warrant Officers for distinguished and meritorious services in battle. In 1920, the terms were altered to clearly state the award was for gallant and distinguished services in action and that naval and air force officers could be awarded the cross for gallant and distinguished services on the ground.  Col W.W. “Jock” Murray, awarded the Military Cross & Bar, was Canada’s first Director of Military Intelligence (DMI).  Sir William Stephenson was  awarded the Military Cross among his many medals.

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) awarded to personnel of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, instituted for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy".   Sir William Stephenson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among his many medals.

1914-1915 Star

The star was awarded to all who saw service in any theatre of war against the central powers between 05 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 except those eligible for the 1914 Star. Canada considered 'overseas' to be service beyond the three mile limit and hence many RCN small ships were entitled to this star. There is no bar.

British War Medal

The British War Medal was a campaign medal of the British Empire, for service in the First World War   The medal was approved in 1919, for issue to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who had rendered service between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.

Victory Medal (Inter-Allied War Medal)

The medal was awarded to all ranks of the fighting forces, to civilians under contract, and others employed with military hospitals who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war between 05 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 (inclusive). It was also awarded to members of the British Naval mission to Russia 1919 - 1920 and for mine clearance in the North Sea between 11 November 1918 and 30 November 1919. This medal was never issued alone and was always issued with the British War Medal.

Canadian Cyclist Corps, Lt Baines.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3214628)

Canadian Cyclist Corps soldier examining a notice board near Albert, France, Oct 1917.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405415).

Canadian Cyclists on Scout duty, St. Catherines, Ontario.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403557)

Intelligence personnel serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force performed infantry, liaison and reconnaissance duties in one of the five cyclist companies established - one per Division - in the Canadian Army. During the great advance of 1918, these personnel suffered numerous casualties as they attempted to keep the Canadian command in touch with rapidly changing circumstances on the battlefield.

Canadian Intelligence Corps Officers interrogating two British soldiers who had been captured by the Germans after they escaped, Neuville, Vitasse, Sep 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397352).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403150)

Intelligence Officer interrogating a German PW, Feb 1918.

Canadian Intelligence officers and NCOs performed intelligence duties in HQs in the Canadian Corps, from Corps down to Brigade level.  A Counter-espionage Section, known as Intelligence (b), was created in 1918 to counter the threat posed by enemy agents.

Towards the end of the Great War many of the Cyclists were attached to Brigadier-General Brutinel’s Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade and supported the Canadian Corps during the 8 August 1918 Amiens offensive.

Canadian Cyclist Corps, 2nd Battalion, CEF, Poperinghe, France, June 1916.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405894)

Canadian Cyclist Corps grave, Private J.H. Rogers, 47055, died 6 March 1918.  (Casey Rashotte Photo)

Canadian 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade

Canadian 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade Armoured Cars, April 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395367).

Canadian 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade cap badge.

Canadian Autocar Machinegun Carrier, France, April 1918.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395368)

The Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, also known as Brutinel's Brigade or the Brutinel Brigade, was the first fully mechanized unit of the British Army.  It was established on 9 September 1914 by Canadian Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel, who initiated the program and was the unit's first commander.  The unit played a significant part in halting the major German offensive of March 1918.  In 1918 Brutinel's force consisted of 1st and 2nd Canadian Motor MG Brigades (each of 5x8 gun batteries), Canadian Cyclist battalion, one section of medium trench-mortars mounted on lorries (plus an assumed wireless and medical support).  This totalled 80 machine guns and about 300 cyclist infantry.

First World War Aerial Photography

The First World War involved a lot of territory and a quickly changing battle, the lack of information and the element of surprise contributed to some German successes early in the war. The allies quickly took advantage of aerial reconnaissance and learned how to accurately map and monitor troop movements. The value of information from aerial reconnaissance became of vital importance, and being able to stop your enemy's aerial capabilities was paramount to success and thus the aerial 'dog fight' was born. The use of aerial reconnaissance in the First World War changed the nature of war forever.  There were several aircraft used for aerial reconnaissance throughout the war. First made of wood and then metal, the aircraft was the focus of intense development. At the same time camera systems and techniques for measuring and identifying features on the ground were being developed. These interpretation and measurement techniques, and the men and women who practiced them during war time, continued after the war and applied them to other areas such as forestry and agriculture.

From the first days of the First World War, the airplane demonstrated its ability to serve as the "eyes of the army." As the British Expeditionary Force retreated from German invaders in France, two-dozen reconnaissance airplanes of the Royal Air Force watched from over head. On August 22, 1914, British Captain L.E.O. Charlton and Lieutenant V.H.N. Wadham reported that German General Alexander von Kluck’s army was starting to prepare to surround the British Expeditionary Force, contradicting all other available intelligence. The British High Command listened to the pilots’ report and started a retreat toward Mons saving the lives of 100,000 soldiers.

A week later, French aerial reconnaissance units began reporting that the Germans were moving toward the east of Paris. Although the intelligence officer refused to listen, General Joseph-Simon Gallieni, the military commander of Paris and a supporter of aviation, did. He issued orders sending French troops to the exposed German flank. The resulting First Battle of the Marne was a victory for the French because it forced the Germans away from Paris. Meanwhile, on the Eastern Front in Poland, aerial reconnaissance reports on the movements of the Russian Army helped the Germans and Austrians stop an advance at the Battle of Tannenburg. But the result of these two battles was to push the armies fighting on both fronts into defensive positions in the trenches, in effect a stalemate that would last almost until the end of the war.

Between the Wars

After the War, a position for a Director of Military Operations and Intelligence was maintained in the Canadian Army. Corps of Guides units in Canada were converted to cyclist companies charged with protecting the main force form surprise during time of war.  After disbandment of these companies on 31 March 1929, a small staff in Ottawa and some Districts performed Intelligence duties.  In 1932, Intelligence staffs of the RCAF and Army were amalgamated.  A proposal in March 1938 by DMOI, Colonel Crerar, which would have led to creation of a Joint Service Intelligence Section in Ottawa, was not accepted.

(DND Photo)

Ford "All Terrain" Armoured Car.  

1935 Chevrolet Armoured Car.  (DND Photo)

In 1934, Ford and General Motors were each invited to build an experimental armoured car to undergo testing by the Permanent Force. The deal involved the government paying for the materials and chassis’ while the companies paid for the design work and assembly. The Ford differed from the Chevrolet in that it had dual wheels on the second and third axles, an eight-cylinder gasoline engine, and the armor plating was welded rather than riveted and bolted. Both armored cars had a maximum speed of 30 mph and the Ford was able to do 8 mph in reverse. Plans called for arming the vehicles with the Vickers Mk. VI medium machine gun but these were delayed as the feed mechanisms were on the wrong side, having been originally designed by the British for right hand drive vehicles. The cars underwent testing at Petawawa, Ontario with the Royal Canadian Dragoons where it was found that both performed satisfactorily. The ten wheel Ford performed the best in off-road tests and the six wheel Chevrolet excelled on roads. Orders for further cars failed to materialize due to budgetary limitations and the Ford experimental car was shipped to Winnipeg for use by the Lord Strathcona’s Horse. The Chevrolet remained with the RCD. Other than the handful of Carden-Loyd carriers obtained in the early 1930’s, these two armoured cars were the only armored vehicle procurements by the Canadian Permanent Force until the acquisition of a number of British Mk. VI B Light Tanks in 1938.

Canadian Carden Loyd Machine Gun Carrier Mk VIa, Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle School, Camp Borden, Ontario. 12 Carden Lloyd tankettes were supplied to Canada between 1930 and 1931, remaining in service until 1938.  (DND Photo)

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Intelligence

(Author Photo)

HMCS Assiniboine ramming U-210, 6 Aug 1942, painting by Tom Forrestal, in the Wardroom, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Naval Intelligence began to grow as an entity in Canada after the Royal Navy was charged with leading intelligence operations in Halifax during the First World War.  In 1921, Canada joined the British Worldwide Intelligence Organization, with the establishment of a North American Station and Directorate of Naval Plans and Intelligence.  Naval Intelligence in Canada, however, remained virtually non-existent until expansion of the size and role of the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War.  The Directorate of Naval Intelligence emerged in 1939 and played a crucial role in the Allied effort to support convoy operations, intercept and analyze hostile radio communications, and confront the U-boat threat during the Battle of the Atlantic.  Naval intelligence specialists also participated in the Special Branch, with officers wearing light green patches on their uniforms to denote their membership.  The Naval Intelligence Division had subsections dedicated to general intelligence, foreign intelligence, ship movements (VESCA), naval information, the national distribution authority, mercantile intelligence, Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS), and meteorology and oceanography.

HMCS Regina, K234 June 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821040)

Naval intelligence and trade protection in the Atlantic and Pacific during the war was an allied effort involving the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.  Canada, having officially taken over responsibilities for operational command in the North West Atlantic on 1 May 1943, relied on its Operational Intelligence Centre (OIC) at Naval Services Headquarters in Ottawa.  The Trade, Intelligence and Signals Division, along with the OIC, remained in place until the end of the war.

(DND Photo)

LCdr John Barbe-Pougnet de Marbois, Royal Navy Reserve.  Jock de Marbois was born on an island near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, but ran away to sea at the age of 12.  By the time he was 17, he had been around the world twice in sailing vessels and had survived two shipwrecks and a bloody mutiny in which the Capt and all the ship’s officers died.  During the First World War he had served as a British liaison officer aboard a Russian cruiser and had fled the Bolshevik revolution with his fiancée, a Russian countess.  After the war, he settled for a time in Nigeria before finally coming to Canada.  He spoke French, Spanish, German and Russian fluently, and had a smattering of Arabic, Turkish, and about a dozen Far Eastern languages.  On 10 September 1939, acting on the authority of Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Commander Jock de Marbois of the Naval Service Signals Division inaugurated what he called the Foreign Intelligence Section. Its task was to undertake Operational SIGINT (codenamed “Y”), high frequency directional finding, and plotting the positions of submarines and surface vessels. Traffic would come from the naval stations at Gloucester, Ontario, and Cloverdale, New Brunswick, as well as from various Department of Transport sites.

(DND Photo)

Captain (N) Eric Sydney Brand (1896-1991), Officer - Order of the British Empire (OBE), was a Royal Navy Officer who served in Canada during WWII with the Royal Canadian Navy as the head of the Directorate of Trade and Intelligence Division.  Captain (N) Brand was born at Ipswich, England.  He joined the Merchant Navy College, HMS Conway, as a cadet in 1909 and transferred to the Royal Navy through the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1911.

During the First World War he was mentioned in dispatches at the Battle of Jutland while serving in HMS Valiant and was promoted Lieutenant in 1916.  He later qualified as both G and dagger N (RN designations).  He was promoted Commander, RN, on 30 December 1929.  He served as Staff Officer (Operations) to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, and Chief Staff Officer to Admiral Commanding Coast of Scotland (1938-1939), where he was responsible for all war plans and preparations in the Command.  On 22 June 1939 the RN loaned Captain (N) Brand to the RCN to serve as the Director of Plans and Intelligence.  Soon after this appointment, he was also given the responsibility of organising the Trade Division at Naval Service Headquarters to handle the Royal Canadian Navy’s contacts with the merchant shipping of all nations.  He was promoted to Captain (N) on 1 July 1941.  He held these two posts until 14 April 1946, when he retired from active service in the rank of Captain.  His naval career lasted thirty-five years.

In 1946 he was appointed Controller of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Shipping under the Department of Labour.  During 1946-1947 he was special assistant to the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply on the drafting of legislation to establish a Canadian Maritime Commission.  Brand later served as a special assistant to the Minister of Mines and Resources on immigrant transportation, as Executive Director, the Canadian Maritime Commission, and, finally, as the Director of Marine Operations, Department of Transport. Brand served as the first Director of the CCG College at Point Edward, Nova Scotia in 1965 and was made Honorary Commodore of the CCG.  Captain (N) Brand He made his home in Ottawa, where he died on 22 November 1991, at the age of 95 (three months after hip surgery).

For his military service he was awarded the OBE in the rank of Officer as per Canada Gazette of 5 June 1943 and London Gazette of 2 June 1943; the American Legion of Merit in the Degree of Commander on 30 March 1946; the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme en Bronze on 27 November 1946; and Chevalier - French Legion of Honour, on 27 November 1947.  In addition to his wartime medals he received a Medal from the HM King of Sweden for his services to humanity.

(DND Photo)

Commander Charles Herbert Little RCN, CD, FRCGS (11 December 1907 - January 10, 2004) was Canadian Director of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War and an author. He was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and continued Germanic studies at Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating in 1932. On his return to Canada, he married Ruth B. Harrison of Rothesay, New Brunswick. He taught at Upper Canada College until he joined the Royal Canadian Navy at the outbreak of the war in 1939. Little presented himself at HMCS York in Toronto, but after he mentioned that he was a teacher of German and that he had just returned from a trip to Germany, he was immediately sent to Ottawa. Upon his arrival he was asked to go through some captured German documents, some of which seemed to describe a weapon. Those papers were sent to London and were found to be partial plans for the new magnetic mines being used by the German Navy. During the war he served as Director of Naval Intelligence on the Naval Staff. Because of his position he was one of the few Canadians to handle Ultra decrypts. After the defeat of Nazi Germany he was allowed to enter combat and was sent to join the British Pacific Fleet. He remained in the Navy until 1959, helping to develop the University Naval Training Division and the Regular Officer Training Plan. After leaving the Navy he became a federal civil servant. From 1964 to 1971 he was Chief Editor of the Royal Commission on Pilotage. He died in Ottawa at the age of 96. He was buried at Fernhill Cemetery in Saint John, New Brunswick.

U-190 being escorted into harbour after its surrender in 1945.

HMCS Loch Alvie with surrendered U-boat, 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821052)

Surrender of U-889 to the RCN, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, 13 May 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238913)

HMCS Haida and HMCS Quebec. (RCN Photo)

British and Canadian Intelligence Corps Insignia

When Canada mobilized in September 1939, Intelligence structures based on British organizations were rapidly developed and intelligence analysts were given new challenges.

As of 16 December 1940, there were about 60 all ranks posted to Canadian Intelligence duties.  Foreseeing the need for 200 intelligence personnel, Major John Page proposed that Field Security (FS) functions be separated from the Provost Corps.  Moreover, he worked to have an Intelligence Corps, formed in a manner similar to that of the British Intelligence Corps formed on 25 June 1940, recognized.

Canadian Intelligence Corps (1942-1968)

Establishment of the First Canadian Army in April 1942 led to a tremendous demand for Intelligence specialists, and on 29 October 1942 the C Int C was officially recognized as a Corps. Canadians from universities, colleges, businesses and industries joined the C Int C to participate in a great variety of Intelligence duties; a number became casualties at Dieppe, in Northwest Europe and the Adriatic. Army Intelligence sections or staffs were represented at Army, Corps, Division, and District levels, with seven Field Security Sections in existence as well. By 1943, for the first time in Canadian history, Canadian personnel filled all Intelligence appointments within Canada's Army formations and units.

C Int C green leaf logo.

The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal shown here has the Dieppe Bar with the Combined Operations Insignia. The bar was awarded to those who took part in the Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942.  All ranks and branches of the Canadian Armed Services were eligible for the CVSM on honourable completion of 18 months total voluntary service between 3 Sep 1939 and 1 Mar 1947 while on active service.  The medal shown includes the Overseas Service Bar which was awarded to those who spent at least two months overseas. The inscription reads 1939 CANADA 1945 around the top and VOLUNTARY SERVICE VOLONTAIRE around the bottom.

The C Int C took is first casualties of the War when Second Canadian Division was committed to its first major combat action, at Dieppe on 19 August 1942. Captain Theodor M. Insinger was killed when his landing craft tank (LCT) was blown up, and Captain F. Morgan was killed shortly after he came ashore.  In the Field Security group, Company Sergeant Major J.S. Milne, Sergeant J. Holt and Sergeant W. Corson were killed and five others captured.

Brookwood Memorial – Captain Theodor Marie Insinger of the Calgary Highlanders, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, went missing at Dieppe on 19 Aug 1942 and was subsequently presumed dead.  He is commemorated on this Panel at the Brookwood Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Sergeant J. Holt headstone, Dieppe Canadian War cemetery.

Sergeant W. Corson headstone, Dieppe Canadian War cemetery.

Company Sergeant Major J.S. Milne headstone, Dieppe Canadian War cemetery.

Company Sergeant Major James Smart Milne of No.2 Canadian Field Security Section (F.S.S.), Canadian Intelligence Corps (C-Int-C), who was killed on beaches of Dieppe on 19 August 1942. Scottish by birth, James had gone to war as a teenager in 1915. Having emigrated to Canada, he became a policeman while also serving with the militia, before signing up for active service at the age of 42.

James was born in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire on 25 December 1897, where he grew up and later married his wife, Johanna. In 1915, he enlisted into the 1st Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders, aged 17, and saw active service in Mesopotamia and Palestine. He was discharged from the Army on 22 July 1919, and married Johanna on 25 December.

The couple emigrated in the early 1920, and by 1924, they were living in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, where James joined the police force. In 1927, he volunteered to serve with the local militia unit, the Manitoba Mounted Rifles, and would eventually reach the rank of squadron sergeant major.

On 10 June 1940, James enlisted into the regular Army at District Deport No.10 in Winnipeg (regimental number: H32031) and assigned to 3 Provost Company. As a result of his previous war-service, time with the militia and service as a policeman, he was promoted to company sergeant major (C.S.M. (warrant officer class II)) with pay on 24 June 1940, and posted to the Field Security Police, H.Q. 2nd Canadian Division, Ottawa. On 23 July, he embarked at Halifax for the U.K, disembarking at Glasgow on 2 August. Based at Aldershot, he attended a Field Security Course at Winchester over the period 29 November to 24 December 1940. In August 1941, he was transferred to No.2 Canadian Field Security Section and his promotion to C.S.M. was confirmed, with effect from 22 September 1940.

On 18 August, James embarked with No.2 F.S.S. for Operation JUBILEE. He landed at Dieppe on 19 August and was killed in action that day. Like the C-Int-C’s other casualties, James was initially reported missing and on 22 August, Johanna received a telegram notifying her of his current status. In December, the International Red Cross confirmed that James had been killed on 19 August, and on 5 December, a second telegram was sent to Johanna informing her of his death. The following year, on 12 June, the family were given the details of James’ resting place; Grave 431, Des Vertus Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer. They had also received a small number of personal items that had been recovered from James’ effects in England; a number of family photographs, a pen and pencil set and a bar of medal ribbons (probably his WWI awards).

In 1949, the Canadian government issued his medals – 1939-45 Star, Defence Medal, War Medal and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Clasp – and Johanna was presented with the Canadian Memorial Cross. The Dieppe clasp to the C.V.S.M. was issued in 1996.

Company Sergeant Major James Smart Milne, C-Int-C, is buried at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery (Hautot-sur-Mer), Grave 51, Row L. He was survived by his wife, Johanna, and his two daughters, Johanna and Shelia.

In the Mediterranean theatre, Corporal A.D. Yaritch was killed while on duty in the Adriatic. In North West Europe, Sergeant G.A. Osipoff and Sergeant F. Dummer were killed during operations in France.

Col W.W. “Jock” Murray, MC & Bar, was Canada’s first Director of Military Intelligence (DMI).  Born on 22 June 1891 in Hawick, Scotland, Col Murray came to Canada in 1913, after preliminary studies at Buccleuch Academy in Hawick, followed by classical studies at the University of Edinburgh.  After 18 months in Canada, he enlisted in the 97th Algonquin Rifles, which formed part of the 20th Infantry Battalion shortly after the outbreak of the First World War.  He was in the thick of the action in many of the worst killing fields of the Great War.  Commissioned as a Lt in the field in June 1916, he was posted to the 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion and saw action on the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Fresnoy, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Drocourt-Queant and Canal du Nord.  Commissioned in the field, he was repeatedly cited for bravery under fire, was awarded the Military Cross with Bar, and was several times mentioned in dispatches.

After the war Capt Murray joined the Canadian Press in 1923, becoming the night editor in the Montreal bureau.  Transferred to Ottawa in 1927, he became a member of the press gallery on the Canadian Parliamentary staff and specialized in military and veteran affairs.  He was 49 years old when he was recruited for duty during WWII in Telegraph Censorship. In the fall of 1940, he was put in charge of the Army’s wireless intelligence program.  In June 1941, Murray represented the Military Intelligence Committee during a meeting in Ottawa concerning Canada’s fledgling cryptographic committee.  This meeting would later lead to the formation of the Examination Unit, which would eventually become Canada’s Communications Security Establishment. In the summer of 1942, Col Murray was made Director of Military Intelligence (DMI).  As one of the three directors of intelligence for the services at this time, Murray and his navy and air counterparts met regularly to discuss their mutual security concerns and to advise the Chiefs of Staff accordingly.  There were severe difficulties with outside interference in the cryptological organization, particularly from the UK.  Britain wanted its own representatives running the operation.  Colonel Murray personally confronted William S. Stephenson, head of British Security Coordination (BSC) in New York and Britain’s liaison officer in Washington (Hastings) over the matter, and they backed off. Murray recommended a postwar signals intelligence organization that retained the Army and Navy intercept stations and a Discrimination/Examination Unit.  In his view, the Americans and the British were going to continue the activity, and therefore Canada should do so as well.  As one of the three post-war service directors of intelligence, Col Murray took part in the first meeting of the newly expanded Canadian Joint Intelligence Committee on 20 September 1945.  Colonel Murray and his colleagues were instrumental in securing the establishment of CSE, fighting long and hard to ensure that the special intelligence expertise developed during wartime would be preserved.  He served throughout the Second World War, ending his wartime service as the DMI for the Canadian Army, retiring in 1946.  He passed away on 2 Aug 1956 at the age of 65, survived by his wife Hope, two daughters and a son.  Canadian Intelligence Corps Newsletter, No. 3, October 1956, Published by MI (O&T), Editor Lt R.C. Horlin, pp. 2-4.

Col Murray resolved that Canadians should not be put at risk again because of lack of access to allied sources of Intelligence (although the Germans had not known in advance about the raid on Dieppe, for example, they were well prepared and quickly reacted to the raid in a highly competent manner).  Col Murray advised Ottawa in clear terms as to what advantages accrued from being a full and contributing partner in Intelligence sharing.  “After explaining that collaboration with Britain and the United States on a quid pro quo basis had given Canada access to” valuable and sensitive Intelligence, “Col Murray went on to observe” the need for close cooperation and equal contribution of Intelligence by stating:The advantage of this approach was clearly impressed [on Canada] during the early war years.  When our contribution was nil, we received nothing from either Bletchley or Washington.  When, in agreement with them, our contribution became substantial, we received ample return - a seat in their counsels and a regular budget of valuable Intelligence.  If we contribute to the pool, we shall draw something from it in the form of finished products; if we fail to contribute, we shall receive nothing.  John Bryden, Best Kept Secret, p. 266-267.

Colonel Charles Robert Raefe Douthwaite, MBE, CD, Medaille de la Reconnaissance Française, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Bronze,  Officer, Order of Orange Nassau (with Swords), Canada’s most decorated Intelligence officer of the Second World War.

Member of the British Empire medal, Medaille de la Reconnaissance Française, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Bronze, and Order of Orange Nassau, Netherlands medal.

After 12 years of service with the RCMP he joined the Army in March 1940 and proceeded overseas in Sep 1942.  Towards the end of 1942, the British offered Canada about 150 vacancies with the First Army in North Africa to allow officers and men to gain battle experience.  A number of Intelligence officers were selected, including Capt C.R.R. Douthwaite, who was serving as a Field Security Officer (FSO) at the time.  He was attached to No. 78 British Field Security, which took him to Sicily.  In Oct 1943, he took command of the newly formed No. 16 FSS with 1st Canadian Army.

During the first five months of 1944, the C Int C’s No. 3 FSS in Otterbourne in the UK had an active role in preparing for the invasion with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.  Capt Douthwaite was the most experienced FSO at the time, and he was therefore assigned to No. 3 FSS.  No. 3 FSS followed the 3rd Cdn Inf Div into France on D-Day, 6  June 1944.  Capt Douthwaite was the OC of the advance party.

At a gathering of 3 Int Trg Coy personnel in Halifax in the fall of 1973, Col Douthwaite spoke to the author about the Normandy landing.  On driving off the Landing Craft Tank (LCT), his jeep sank in moderately deep water.  He stood on his tiptoes while the driver held his breath, and they drove on up the beach.  In the first firefight they got into, one of his team killed a German who was about to shoot at Raefe, by firing at him with a Portable Infantry Anti-tank launcher (PIAT).  The advance party set up a temporary HQ at Graye-sur-Mer, and was joined by the remainder of the Section on 13 June.  Their immediate task was to establish control over civilian movement.

As the division fought through North West Europe, the Unit continued to be reinforced.  No. 16 FSS assisted in the security preparations for Operation Veritable, launched on 8 Feb 1945.  Capt Douthwaite conducted FS operations in the area of Cleve and Bedburg, setting up area security restrictions and arranging to have them enforced.  By May 1945, Major Douthwaite was serving as the GSO2 I (b) for 1 Canadian Corps at its Area HQ in Utrecht.  In July 1945, he served in the No. 1 ASO at Aurich as the GSO2.  Unfortunately, he was injured in a car accident on 30 July 45.  His place was taken by his assistant, Capt Reginald J.G. Weeks (who later served as MGen, Chief of Int and Security to NATO HQ, Brussels, Belgium, before becoming the Int Branch Col Comdt).

Major Douthwaite was awarded the MBE for his wartime service.[1]  He was also awarded the Medaille de la Reconnaissance Française, the Croix de la Guerre avec Etoile de Bronze and was made an Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau with Swords.

Early in August 1956, Major Charles R. Raefe Douthwaite, GSO2 O&T, DMI, commenced his rehabilitation leave prior to retirement.  Maj Douthwaite served in the reserves as the OC of 3 Intelligence Company after the war until 1963.  He continued to be involved in Intelligence duties being appointed as an Advisor to the CDA, and was promoted to LCol and later full Col during his remaining service.[2]  He continued to be involved in the affairs of 3 Int Coy taking part in annual unit events including a reunion of former COs in 1975.  Details courtesy of MGen Reginald J.G. Weeks (Sep 1999), and BGen George C. Piercey (Oct 2003).

Brigadier-General George Charles Piercey

Brigadier-General George Charles Piercey, CMM, E.D., C.C., LLD (Hon), Q.C., was born in Armdale, Nova Scotia, in 1919 and received his early education in Halifax.  Between 1938 and 1941 he earned his Bachelor of Commerce, Arts and Law degrees from Dalhousie University.

Commencing with army cadets at Chebucto Road and Bloomfield High Schools, George had a long association with military training shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.  In 1939, while a student at Dalhousie University, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Halifax-Dartmouth Coastal Defence Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), as a Company Commander in the Dalhousie-Kings Canadian Officer Training Corps (COTC).  Following graduation from Dalhousie University Law School in 1941, he went on active service with the RCA.

In 1944 he transferred to the Canadian Intelligence Corps (C Int C), was promoted to Captain and served overseas in Britain, Italy and the Netherlands.  On his return home after the war he rejoined the Militia.

3 Intelligence Company was established at the Queen Street Armouries on 7 February 1951.  This new company office was located on the corner of Queen and Spring Garden Roads.  The site is now less than two blocks from the former Intelligence Company quarters at Royal Artillery Park (RA Park).    The first people enrolled in the Company included Capt George C. Piercey, Capt A.P. McCarthy, and Capt R.V.A. Swetnam.  All three of these men had served with the C Int C during the Second World War.  (At a later date both Captains Piercey and Swetnam held the honour of commanding the Unit).

On his promotion, Major Piercey was appointed the Commanding Officer of No. 3 Intelligence Training Company in Halifax.  He was the CO from 1 Oct 1954 until 30 Sep 1958.  During his command, the Crerar trophy, which was established in 1953 by the Canadian Military Intelligence Association (CMIA), was presented to 3 Int Trg Coy 1956 for having the highest efficiency rating in the training year.  3 Int Trg Coy won this trophy again in 1966.  

Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, he served as AAQMC of No. 4 Militia Group, and he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.  In 1970 serving as a Colonel, he accepted the presidency of the Canadian Military Intelligence Association (CMIA).  That same year he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General and appointed the Commander of Militia Area Atlantic.   BGen Piercey served as the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to Governor-Generals Vanier and Michener and in 1973 he was designated a Commander of the Canadian Order of Military Merit.  He retired that same year.

Following his wartime service George Piercey served as the Treasurer and Legal Counsel of Piercey Supplies and Piercey Investors Limited.  In 1959 he entered the former Halifax Law firm of Daley, Black, Moreira & Piercey as a partner.  In 1977 he retired from the firm to assume responsibilities as the President of the Nova Scotia Savings and Loan Company after having served for many years on its Board of Directors.  In 1979 he took over the duties of the President of Piercey Investors and was the Chairman of the Board at the time of his death.  He was a strong supporter of Dalhousie University and served 17 years on the Board of Governors and two years as its Chairman.  In 1995, the University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree, and in the same year he received the University’s Outstanding Alumni Award.

In 1995, BGen Piercey attended the inauguration of 3 Int Company.

Brigadier-General George Charles Piercey, CMM, E.D., C.C., LLD (Hon), Q.C., passed away at the age of 86 in Halifax, on 3 October 2005.

[1] Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday, the 10th of JULY, 1945, Thurday, 12 July 1945.

[2] Details courtesy of MGen Reginald J.G. Weeks (Sep 1999), and BGen George C. Piercey (Oct 2003).

2Lt R.J.G. Weeks served as a C Int C Officer during the war (shown on the left in the middle), and would later rise to the rank of Major-General.

He is shown as a Colonel acting as the Canadian Attache in Bonn, Germany in the 1970s.  He served as the second Honorary Colonel Commandant of the post-1982 Intelligence Branch.

The Intelligence Section at CMHQ was probably the most important link in the entire intelligence chain during the Second World War. Located in London, England, where the highest Allied planning and control took place, CMHQ was ideally situated to act as a listening post both for the Department in Ottawa and for the Canadian Army Overseas. The CMHQ Intelligence Section initially controlled cipher protection of Army messages between Ottawa and London, and was the agency responsible for security liaison between Canada and Canadian formations in England. It was directly involved in censorship, and later had charge of all aspects of recruiting for the intelligence establishments it helped form. It was also responsible for the training and professional development of all Canadian intelligence personnel, as well as handling of enemy prisoners of war.

As Canadian units moved overseas, personnel who appeared suitable for intelligence duties were sent to British Intelligence Schools. Handling of cipher messages was one of the first priorities, and the initial Canadian personnel to be trained came from First Canadian Division, which had arrived in England in December 1940. RCAF Air Intelligence Liaison officers, who would work closely with Army formation Intelligence staffs, were assigned to I Canadian Corps HQ.

1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the First Special Service Force

The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the First Special Service Force had their own Intelligence staff during the Second World War.

First Special Service Force paratroopers with captured Italian weapons, Anzio, Italy, 20 Apr 1944.  Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396063)

(FK Matsubuchi Family Photo)

C Int C members returning from the Pacific, arrive at the CNR station in Montreal, Quebec, 25 May 1947.  (Note, members appear to be wearing both C Int C and UK Int Corps badges with C Int C shoulder flashes.

During the Second World War, Japanese Canadians, known as Nisei/Nikkei, were exempt from military service; however, a few were able to serve in the Canadian military . The only Nisei known to be killed in action was Trooper Minoru Morgan Tanaka from Saskatchewan who died in Holland in 1945.  In January 1945, the Canadian Intelligence Corps recruited 150 Nisei or 2nd generation Japanese Canadians due to pressure from the British for Japanese linguists.  After receiving basic training in Brantford and Simcoe, Ontario followed by Japanese instruction at the S-20 Pacific Command Japanese Language School in Vancouver, many of the Nisei served in southeast Asia.  By 1947, they had resumed civilian life in Canada.

Sir William S. Stephenson

Sir William Samuel Stephenson, CC, MC, DFC (23 January 1897 – 31 January 1989)

William Stephenson was born in Winnipeg's Point Douglas neighbourhood on 23 Jan 1897.  As a Canadian soldier, airman and spymaster, Stephenson became the senior representative of British intelligence for the Western Hemisphere during the Second World War.  The telegraphic address of his office was INTREPID, which was later popularized as his code name. His organization's activities ranged from censoring transatlantic mail, breaking letter codes (which exposed at least one German spy in the United States), forging diplomatic documents, obtaining military codes, protecting against sabotage of Allied factories and training Allied agents, according to the Intrepid Society, a group dedicated to honouring and sustaining Stephenson's memory.  Stephenson was also a radio pioneer who helped develop a way of transmitting photographs around the world. But it was his espionage work that garnered the most fame. Some suggest his covert operations in the Second World War were a decisive factor in the Allied victory.  Author Ian Fleming has credited Stephenson as being an inspiration for James Bond.  In an interview with the Times newspaper in 1962, Fleming said: "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is … William Stephenson.“

Stephenson played a key role in the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States.  As Winston Churchill's personal representative to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the war, Stephenson became a close advisor to FDR and suggested he put William J. Donovan in charge of all U.S. intelligence services.  Donovan, a good friend of Stephenson, founded the U.S. wartime Office of Strategic Services, which eventually became the CIA.  Donovan later said, "Bill Stephenson taught us all we ever knew about foreign intelligence," according to the Intrepid Society.  For his extraordinary service to the war effort, he was made a Knight Bachelor by King George VI in the 1945 New Year Honours.  In recommending Stephenson for the knighthood, Winston Churchill wrote: "This one is dear to my heart."  In November 1946 Stephenson received the Medal for Merit from President Harry S. Truman, at that time the highest U.S. civilian award.  He was the first non-American to be so honoured.  General "Wild Bill" Donovan presented the medal.  The citation paid tribute to Stephenson's "valuable assistance to America in the fields of intelligence and special operations".  In his homeland, Stephenson was made a Companion of the Order of Canada on 17 Dec 1979.  He died on 31 Jan 1989, in Paget, Bermuda, at age 93.

On 2 May 2000, CIA Executive Director David W. Carey, representing the Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and Deputy Director John A. Gordon, accepted a bronze statuette of Stephenson from the Intrepid Society of Winnipeg, Manitoba. In his remarks, Carey said: Sir William Stephenson played a key role in the creation of the CIA.  He realized early on that America needed a strong intelligence organization and lobbied contacts close to President Roosevelt to appoint a U.S. "coordinator" to oversee FBI and military intelligence.  He urged that the job be given to William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, who had recently toured British defences and gained the confidence of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  Although Roosevelt didn't establish exactly what Sir William had in mind, the organization created represented a revolutionary step in the history of American intelligence.  Donovan's Office of Strategic Services was the first "central" U.S. intelligence service.  OSS worked closely with and learned from Sir William and other Canadian and British officials during the war. A little later, these OSS officers formed the core of the CIA. Intrepid may not have technically been the father of CIA, but he's certainly in our lineage someplace.

On 8 August 2008, Stephenson was recognized for his work by Major-General John M. Custer, Commandant of the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps.  Custer inducted him as an honorary member of the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, an honour shared by only two other non-Americans.

Canadians played an instrumental part in covert HUMINT, SIGINT and espionage activities.  The C Int C assisted in screening of volunteers chosen for service with Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE), and would later participate in training at Camp X near Whitby, Ontario.

On 6 December 1941, Special Training School No. 103 (Camp X) was established on the shore of Lake Ontario, near Oshawa. One of the primary purposes of Camp X was to train agents for deployment behind enemy lines.  Famous occupants of Camp X included Roald Dahl (author), Paul Dehn (screenwriter) and J.S. Wilson (Boy Scouts).

“Sir William Stephenson enrolled in 101st Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Winnipeg on 12 Jan 1916.  He trained in Canada before sailing to England aboard the SS Olympic, 29 June-6 July 1916.  Shortly after his arrival in the UK, he was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion, East Sandling, Kent on 13 July 1916, and then transferred again to the Canadian Engineer Reserve Depot, Shorncliffe, on18 July 1916.  On 4 Aug 1916 he was attached to the Canadian Training Depot Headquarters Sub Staff, Shorncliffe.  On 15 Aug 1916 he was appointed Acting Sergeant with Pay of Clerk, and with a week on 19 Aug 1916 he was attached to Headquarters Southern Command.  On 1 May 1917 he was promoted to Sergeant with pay of clerk while so employed.  One month later, he transferred on command to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) Cadet Wing at Denham, on 1 Jun 1917.  He was posted to 1 Officer Cadet Wing, Denham, on 18 Jun 1917, and with a month transferred to the School of Military Aeronautics, Oxford, on 13 Jul 1917.  His cadet rank was changed to temporary 2Lt on Probation on 16 Aug 1917, according to the London Gazette of 11 Sept 1917.  He was later appointed Temporary 2Lt, on probation according to the General List dated 26 Oct 1917, and recorded in the London Gazette on 22 Nov 1917.

2Lt Stephenson transferred to the Central Flying School at Hendon, on 19 Aug 1917, and then on to 47 Training Squadron, Waddington, on 28 Aug 1917.  He went on to 11 Training Squadron on 23 Sep 1917, where he was appointed Flight Commander on 26 Oct 1917.  He was very quickly transferred through a number of units including 73 Training Squadron, where he flew Sopwith Camels on 29 Oct 1917, then 45 Training Squadron on 20 Nov 1917, then 61 Training Squadron on 7 Jan 1918, then to the Scout Pool at Manston on 30 Jan 1918.  He was transferred to the Expeditionary Force, 73 Squadron flying Sopwith Camels in France on 9 Feb 1918.  The RFC merged with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) to form the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 1 Apr 1918.

Lt W.S. Stephenson in an RAF SPAD VII biplane fighter ca 1918.

He was confirmed in the rank of Lt, RAF on 1 Apr 1918.  Engaging in aerial combat flying his Sopwith Camel, he distinguished himself in battle and was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 10 April 1918.  There has been some dispute over exactly how many enemy aircraft were shot down by William Stephenson.  Cross and Cockade International, a First World War aviation society, records Stephenson shot down a total of 12 aircraft.  However, a French newspaper reported in 1918 that he had shot down eighteen aircraft and two kite balloons.  His achievements were acknowledged when he was awarded the he Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 21 Sep 1918.  Shortly before his award, however, Lt Stephenson was, in error, shot down by a French aircraft.  He was reported Missing in Action (MIA) on 28 July 1918, and confirmed as a Prisoner of War (PW) on 19 Sep 1918.

His official citation for the MC reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When flying low and observing an open staff car on a road, he attacked it with such success that later it was seen lying in the ditch upside down. During the same flight he caused a stampede amongst some enemy transport horses on a road. Previous to this he had destroyed a hostile scout and a two-seater plane. His work has been of the highest order, and he has shown the greatest courage and energy in engaging every kind of target."
 - Military Cross citation, Supplement to the London Gazette, 22 June 1919.

(DND Photo, RE19641-2)

Captain William S. Stephenson beside "his rather time-worn" Sopwith Camel (Serial No. D6---), coded B, in 1918.  (DND Photo, RE19641-2).  This photo is from the book, "Knights of the Air, Canadian Fighter Pilots in the First World War" by LCol David L. Bashow (McArthur & Company, Toronto, 2000).  On page 193, David notes, "on 28 August 1918, the final battle on the Somme commenced. Naturally, Allied airpower was extensively involved with this counter-offensive. Captain William S. Stephenson of Winnipeg, a twelve-victory ace who had previously won a Military Cross for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty," further distinguished himself through his exploits as a Sopwith Camel pilot with No. 73 Squadron, RAF, being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross".  His citation for the DFC reads:

"This officer has shown conspicuous gallantry and skill in attacking enemy troops and transports from low altitudes, causing heavy casualties. His reports, also, have contained valuable and precise information. He has further proved himself a keen antagonist in the air, having, during recent operations, accounted for six enemy aeroplanes."
 - Distinguished Flying Cross citation, Supplement to the London Gazette, 21 September 1928.

When he was reported as missing in action, the French newspaper Avion commented: "It appears that on the afternoon of July 28th, Captain Stephenson, decided to make a lone patrol of the line. Regular Scout patrols had been canceled for the day owing to stormy weather.  About four miles within the Bosche Lines... one of our reconnaissance machines was being attacked by seven Fokker Biplanes which had been hiding in the dense clouds a few hundred metres above.  According to American balloon observers, a British machine of the pattern Stephenson flew suddenly dived out of the clouds and without hesitation attacked the leader of the enemy formation, shooting him down in flames.  There followed a terrific battle in which the daring captain made excellent strategic use of the clouds and succeeded in shooting down another German machine, while a third went spinning to the ground out of control."  The report then went on to explain that Stephenson was shot down.  "France has good reason to cherish the memory of this brilliant young Canadian pilot and to pray that he descended alive."

Stephenson's friend, Tommy Drew-Brook, explained what had happened: "The unfortunate French observer saw this machine out of the corner of his eye, spun his gun and fired a burst into Bill, which killed his engine and put one bullet through his leg.  He landed just in front of the German front line, crawled out of his machine, and headed for our lines, but unfortunately a German gunner hit him again in the same leg and that stopped him and resulted in him being captured."

He remained a PW until he was repatriated from the Officer’s Prison Camp at Holzminden, Lower Saxony, on 9 Dec 1918.

While in the prison-camp, Stephenson stole a German tin opener.  Stephenson was impressed with performance of the tin opener and told Drew-Brook that he planned to escape from the camp as soon as possible, and he was going to take the can opener with him, and patent it in every country in the world.  Drew-Brook later recalled: "He took the can opener with him, and I think he did patent it and I believe was successful in making considerable money out of it."

Returning to the UK, he sailed from Liverpool to Saint John, New Brunswick on the SS Melita, 11-24 Jan 1919, with the destination of his home in Winnipeg.  He placed on the list of the Home Establishment, RAF on 3 Feb 1919.  On 20 Apr 1919, he was transferred to the Unemployed List in the Rank of Lieutenant, according to the London Gazette of 14 Oct 1919.  He was to be Returned to England, effective 9 Nov 1919.  (Records researched by Capt. Gord Crossley, MMM, CD, Heritage Officer, 17 Wing Winnipeg)

After the war Stephenson returned to Winnipeg and with a friend Wilf Russell he started a hardware business, one largely inspired by a can opener Stephenson had taken from his PW camp.  The business was unsuccessful and he left Canada for England.  Stephenson became a wealthy industrialist with business contacts in many countries.  On 22 Jul 1924 he married American tobacco heiress, Mary French Simmons, of Springfield, Tennessee.

In 1922 Stephenson started up a new company at 28 South Audley Street.  He joined up with T. Thorne Baker, who was carrying out research into photo-telegraphy.  Both men began work in developing a machine that could send photos over telephone lines.  Stephenson later told Hartford Montgomery Hyde that they developed a "light sensitive device" that increased the rate of transmission.  Stephenson realized that if the process was sped up even further, moving pictures could be transmitted. In other words, televison sets.  On 28 August 1923, The Manitoba Free Press reported: "Due partly to his efforts and a tremendous advertising campaign, broadcasting was established in England on a highly efficient and comprehensive scale within a few short months and his companies were the first in England to produce a complete range of broadcasting equipment suitable for public use."

As early as April 1936, Stephenson was voluntarily providing confidential information to the British, passing on detailed information to British opposition MP Winston Churchill about how Adolf Hitler's Nazi government was building up its armed forces and hiding military expenditures of eight hundred million pounds sterling.  This was a clear violation of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and showed the growing Nazi threat to European and international security; Churchill used Stephenson's information in Parliament to warn against the appeasement policies of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

Stephenson's exploits, wireless traffic abilities, collation skills, and interest in analysis caught the attention of Admiral Sir Reginald Hall, Director of British Naval Intelligence, who became extensively involved in espionage activities. He also led the effort that intercepted and decoded the Zimmerman Telegram, and promoted survival of the small British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in the post-war period. As a result of contact with Hall, Stephenson became personally involved in a variety of espionage, sabotage and deception operations. He was also heavily involved in TECHINT and SIGINT activities related to German communications and Enigma cipher machines.

(IWM Photo, A4811)

Sir William S. Stephenson, in the grey pants, dark suit jacket at left, on board HMS Prince of Wales along with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt during their meeting in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, on 17 Aug 1941.

Stephenson participated in re-establishing a working relationship between the British SIS and American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and established the British Security Co-ordination (BSC) HQ in New York as a base to conduct secret warfare operations from.  The BSC eventually included the SOE, SIS, Security Executive, MI-5, and an extensive intelligence-communications web.  Bermuda Station was established as a satellite base for various BSC communication-interception activities.

Major-General William J. Donovan, American head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the Second World War.  (He is also known as the "Father of American Intelligence" and the "Father of Central Intelligence".)

Major-General William J. Donovan,wartime chief of the OSS presenting the American Medal for Merit to Sir William S. Stephenson, Director of British Security Coordination in the Western hemisphere from 1940-45.  Looking on during the ceremony in Sir Williams' suite at the Dorset Hotel are (left to right) Col. Edward G. Buxton, assistant director of OSS; Robert Sherwood, noted playwright, and Lady Mary F. Stephenson.

Many years later he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, awarded on 17 December 1979.  He was invested on 5 February 1980, with the following citation:

This "Quiet Canadian" from Winnipeg earned early renown as a pilot in the First World War and became an inventor and industrialist before he was thirty. He played a key role in the Second World War when, amongst other notable achievements, he organized and directed so daring and successful an espionage network that it is credited with playing an important part in the Allied Victory. He was, indeed, "A Man Called Intrepid". Subsequently, Sir William lent his formidable talents to extensive industrial enterprises in Canada and beyond. In recognition of his extraordinary achievements.

British Security Co-ordination (1940-1945)

Camp X, near Whitby, Ontario was the site of a British Security Co-ordination special training school.

Plaques honouring British Security Co-ordination and Sir William Stephenson on the site of the former Camp X, Whitby, Ontario.  British Security Coordination insignia, 1940-1945.

Within Camp X, documents were faked at Station M and communication with agents around the world was achieved through Hydra. Camp X also served as a secure area where agents could be trained and equipped, and guerrilla devices tested.

Canadian SOE agents Frank Pickersgill, John Kenneth Macalister, and Roméo Sabourin were executed by the Nazis on 14 September 1944.

Memorial plaque at Buchenwald, Germany.

Seven Canadian officers who took part in SOE missions before and after D-Day arrive back in Halifax in December 1944. The second person from the right in the rear row of the group photo is Capt d'Artois. (DND).  Capt Guy d'Artois is also shown with his wife Sonya Butt.  They were married in Scotland before being parachuted separately into France to help with the resistance.  Major Gustave (Guy) Bieler at the top right was also captured and executed by the Germans during the war.

Field Security

Four members of the 3rd Field Security Section, Canadian Intelligence Corps, sharing a glass of wine with a French couple, Thaon, France, 20 June 1944.  Note: the Field Censors have blotted out their cap badges.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203184)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226777)

Canadian Army Psychological Warfare vehicle in the streets of Caen, Normandy, 10 July 1944.

(H. Murray Lang Photo)

Capt. E.R. Austin and 12 men of No. 17 Field Security Section, Canadian Intelligence Corps, after arriving Normandy, in Cairon, France in late July 1944.
Top row (left to right): Capt. E.R. Austin; CSM H.F. Sutcliffe; A/Sgt. Bill McCarthy; A/Sgt. Mike Solomon; A/Sgt. Bob McPherson.
Middle row (left to right): A/Sgt. H. Murray Lang; A/Sgt. George Barnes; A/Sgt. Maurice Ippolito; A/Sgt. Frank Singer; A/Sgt. Jack Paysant.
Bottom row (left to right): Sgt. Alf Weiss; Pte. Harry Sime (Driver/Batman).

(DND Photo)

Interrogation of Obersturmfuher Meinout Rost van Tonningen by Canadian Intelligence Corps Sergeant Brunno Vannier, No. 3 Field Security Section, May 1945.

Meinout Rost van Tonningen had a role with regard to the Waffen-SS in the Netherlands.  He founded the Mussert-Garde in 1939 together with Henk Feldmeijer. This paramilitary youth organisation of the NSB developed into a kind of pre-SS, laying the foundations for the Dutch SS and the recruitment of Dutch volunteers for the Waffen-SS.

Rost was informed of the SS plans for the Netherlands nine days before NSB leader Mussert was. An Allgemeine SS was to be formed in the Netherlands and Dutch volunteers were to be recruited to serve in the new Waffen-SS division 'Wiking'. The Dutch would get their 'own' SS-Standarte called 'Westland'. Rost was very enthusiastic about all this and promised Himmler and Berger his complete co-operation. Rost was ordered to unite youths, women, farmers, and workers within national-socialist associations to promote national-socialism in the Netherlands. Seeing as how he failed to do so, Mussert remained the main marionette of the SS and the occupiers.

Rost tried to join the regular Waffen-SS, but was not successful until after the allied invasion of Normandy when his request was granted. In the period from 22 June to 8 August 1944, Rost was trained to become an officer (SS-untersturmführer der reserve) at the first battalion of 'Landstorm Nederland'. Halfway through March 1945, Rost went to the front in the Betuwe. He was captured by Canadians on 8 May 1945 (when he had become Obersturmführer).    The Canadians interrogated him after his arrest, after which he was transferred to a prison in Scheveningen. He is reputed to have committed suicide on 5 June 1945.

German Lieutenant-General Paul Reichelt (center) and Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes (right) during preliminary discussions around 11am regarding the unconditional surrender of German forces in the Netherlands.  At Hotel de Wereld, Wageningen, Netherlands, 5 May 1945.  War correspondents line the tables behind.  Photographer Alex Stirton of the Canadian Film & Photo Unit attended to record the drama unfolding. (Alex Stirton, Library and Archives Canada Photo a137730)

General Blaskowitz. Lieutenant-General (later General) Charles Foulkes, CC, CB, CBE, DSO, CD (left centre), Commanding Officer of 1st Canadian Corps, sitting on the opposite side of the same table where the earlier discussions took place.  Foulkes is accepting the surrender of all 117,000 German forces in The Netherlands from General Johannes Blaskowitz (second from right) at 4PM on 5 May 1945 in Hotel de Wereld, Wageningen, Netherlands.  Reichelt sits to Blaskowitz's right.  Kitching sits to Foulkes's left.  Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands sits in the foreground on the left.  In The Netherlands, May 5th would henceforth become Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag), celebrating the end of Nazi occupation in the Second World War.  (Alex Stirton; Library and Archives Canada Photo, a138588)

Second World War medals.

Military Medal (MM)

The medal is awarded to Warrant Officers, non-commissioned officers and men for individual or associated acts of bravery on the recommendation of a Commander-in-Chief in the field.

1939-1945 Star

The Star was awarded for six months service on active operations for Army and Navy, and two months for active air-crew between 02 September 1939 and 08 May 1945 (Europe) or 02 September 1945 (Pacific).

Italy Star

The star was awarded for one day operational service in Sicily or Italy between 11 June 1943 and 08 May 1945.

Defence Medal

Although the medal was usually awarded to Canadians for six months service in Britain between 03 September 1939 and 08 May 1945, the exact terms were: Service in the forces in non-operational areas subjected to air attack or closely threatened, providing such service lasted for three or more years. Service overseas or outside the country of residence, providing that such service lasted for one year, except in territories threatened by the enemy or subject to bomb attacks, in which case it was six months prior to 02 September 1945. Under the terms of this last condition, Canadians serving for one year in Newfoundland were eligible and persons serving for six months in Hong Kong were also eligible. The qualifying period in mine and bomb disposal was three months. Canadians serving in West Africa, Palestine and India, other than operational air crew, qualified for this medal. Those awarded the GC or GM for civil defence received this medal. Home Guard and others in Britain qualified for this medal.

Canadian Volunteer Service Medal

The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal is granted to persons of any rank in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Canada who voluntarily served on Active Service and honourably completed eighteen months (540 days) total voluntary service from 3 September 1939 to 1 March 1947.  A silver bar (often called a clasp), a maple leaf at its centre, was awarded for 60 days service outside Canada.  A silver maple leaf is worn on the ribbon in undress.

War Medal 1939-1945

The War Medal was awarded to all full-time personnel of the armed forces and merchant marines for serving for 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.  In the Merchant Navy, the 28 days must have been served at sea.

RCAF Intelligence

(RCAF Photo)

RCAF bomber crew receiving a briefing, and later being debriefed by the Squadron Intelligence Officer.

(RCAF Photo)

RCAF bomber crew receiving a briefing, and later being debriefed by the Squadron Intelligence Officer.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3353839)

RCAF Intelligence Room, Boundary Bay, British Columbia, 26 Jan 1943.

(IWM Photo, CH 17127)

Flight Lieutenant J. M. Maclennan, the Intelligence Officer of No. 406 Squadron, RCAF, hanging aircraft recognition models in his office at Acklington, Northumberland.

German aircraft taken as war prizes in 1945 and flown by RCAF test pilots at Farnborough in the UK.  For more information on these aircraft see the sections on Axis Warplane Survivors and Canadian War Trophies.

German V2 rocket taken as a war prize in 1945 and brought to Canada by Capt F.M. Mowat's Intelligence Collection team.  The V2 is shown here on display at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in 1950.  This V2 is believed to have been buried near Picton, Ontario, ca 1960.  For more information on this rocket see the section on Canadian War Trophies.  (DND Photos)

Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, Sir Winston Churchill and General Montgomery, with a post war view of NDHQ as it once stood in what is now a park in front of the present day NDHQ.

Communications Security Establishment Canada

(CSR Photo)

Colonel Ed Drake, the First Director of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).

CSEC was originally formed as part of the National Research Council, which is a research organization focusing on science and technology. Its original mandate was to analyze foreign communication (SIGINT, or Signals Intelligence) collected by the Canadian Army.   The Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC or CSE); Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications Canada) ("CSTC" or "CST") is the Canadian government's national cryptologic intelligence agency. Administered under the Department of National Defence (DND), it is charged with the duty of keeping track of foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT), and protecting Canadian government electronic information and communication networks. The CSE is accountable to the Minister of National Defence through two deputy ministers, one of whom is responsible for Administration, the other Policy and Operations. The Minister of National Defence is in turn accountable to the Cabinet and Parliament.

The CSE was established in 1946 as the Communications Branch of the National Research Council (CBNRC), and was transferred to the DND in 1975 by Order-in-Council. The origins of the CSE can be traced back to the Second World War where the civilian organization worked with intercepted foreign electronic communications, collected largely from the Canadian Signal Corps station at Rockcliffe airport in Ottawa. This unit successfully decrypted, translated, and analyzed these foreign signals, and turned that raw information into useful intelligence reports during the course of the war.

The CSE and the information it gathered and shared was secret for 34 years, when the CBC program "the fifth estate" did a story on the organization, resulting in an outcry in the Canadian House of Commons and an admission by the Canadian government that the organization existed. The CSE is now publicly known, and occupies several buildings in Ottawa, including theEdward Drake Building and the neighbouring Sir Leonard Tilley Building.

During the Cold War, CSE was primarily responsible for providing SIGINT data to the Department of National Defence regarding the military operations of the Soviet Union. Since then, CSE has diversified and now is the primary SIGINT resource in Canada. The CSE also provides technical advice, guidance and services to the Government of Canada to maintain the security of its information and information infrastructures.

In early 2008, in line with the Federal Identity Program (FIP) of the Government of Canada, which requires all federal agencies to have the word "Canada" in their name, CSE changed its name to "Communications Security Establishment Canada" (CSEC); Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications Canada (CSTC).

Post-War C Int C

General, The Honourable HDG Crerar PC, CH, CD, DSO, CD (1888-1965)

General H.D.G. Crerar, First Honorary Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Intelligence Corps.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233419)

One of Canada's greatest wartime commanders, General Crerar was born and educated in Hamilton, Ontario.  Graduating from the Royal Military College in 1909, he took a position with the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission, Toronto.  At the outbreak of the Great War he was a Lieutenant in Toronto's 4th Battery, 2nd Brigade, the Non-Permanent Active Militia.  He immediately joined Canada's First Division, going overseas with the First Contingent.  He served in France, initially with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, later as Brigade Major of the 5th Canadian Divisional Artillery.  A recognized leader in the development of modern artillery, he designed the largest, most intricate and successful creeping barrage in the later days of the war.  This three-day barrage at Canal du Nord halted the final German advance and was considered a brilliant use of artillery.  His fine work was recognized in the award of the Distinguished Service Order.  By October 1918, he was a Lieutenant-Colonel.  After the war he remained in the army and was appointed to the General Staff, Ottawa.  Following attendance at the British Staff College he returned to Kingston as Professor of Tactics, Royal Military College.  He represented Canada at the 1932 Geneva Disarmament Conference and at the London Imperial Conference of 1937.  In 1935 he was promoted to Colonel concurrent with appointment as Commandant, Royal Military College.  Immediately following the declaration of war in 1939, he was promoted and dispatched to Britain to prepare for the arrival of the Canadians.  In July the following year, he returned to Ottawa a Major-General and as Chief of the General Staff.  In 1941, he was promoted to Lieutenant-General. Late in 1941 he returned to England and, in order to command the 2nd Canadian Division, reverted to Major-General.  On arrival he became temporary Corps Commander and was immediately promoted to Lieutenant-General for the second time.  In April 1942, he was given permanent command of the 1st Canadian Corps.  "Uncle Harry", as his senior staff affectionately called him, assumed command of the First Canadian Army on 20 March 1944, less than three months before the allied assault on Normandy.  By August, after Caen had fallen and while the battle for Falaise was developing, it was announced that Crerar was in the field and in command of the Canadians.  As well as three Canadian Divisions (the 2nd, 3rd and 4th), the Polish First Armoured Division, the British 49th (West Riding) and 51st (Highland) Divisions were to remain with him almost to the end of hostilities.  During his campaigns elements of the American, Belgian, Czech, Dutch and French forces were attached to his army; he was adept at getting the best from these widely-differing forces.  After the Canadians broke the Caen "hinge", General Crerar directed one of the great battles of the war, throwing his formations into Falaise and closing the Trun Gap.  This was followed by the great pursuit through France and Belgium, an action that extended from Le Havre to the Scheldt estuary and Antwerp.  This extended front necessitated that he spent much of his time in his aircraft visiting, in turn, the British divisions hammering at Le Havre, the 3rd Canadians assaulting Boulogne and Calais, the 4th Canadians at Bruges and Ostende, the Poles at Terneuzen, the Americans near Turnhout and the 2nd Canadians at Antwerp.  This was an outstanding feat by any measure.  After the bloody battles of the Leopold Canal, the Breskens Pocket and Walchern Island, he led his army into the Nijemgen salient to prepare for the final assault into Germany.  In February, he threw his army against the Northern flank of the Siegfried Line, a prelude to winning the great battles of the Reichswald and Hochwald forests, thereby setting the stage for the great British and American drives into the Ruhr and the plains of northern Germany.  With the addition of the 1st Canadian Corps from Italy, General Crerar launched his forces through western and northern Holland and into north-western Germany.  It was here that the war ended for Crerar's First Canadian Army.  The King honoured General Crerar by appointing him to the Order of the Companions of Honour. General Crerar was the first Canadian to gain the rank of General while on active service at the front.  The contribution of his First Canadian Army and the forces of the many nations who fought with the Army was immense.  Their victories had significant bearing on the Allied advance through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany. General Crerar retired in 1946 after serving Canada for more than 35 years.  His career spanned two world wars and he was decorated by France, Belgium, the USA, Poland and Holland.  One of the most distinguished military leaders produced by Canada, General Crerar died in Ottawa in 1965. Col Peter E.R. Wright, C Int C, was the only officer below the rank of Major General to be selected as a pallbearer.

Colonel Peter. E. R. Wright shown here inspecting Militia Intelligence Sections taking part in the summer concentration training period in 1966.  Col Wright was the last Honorary Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Intelligence Corps before integration of the Canadian Forces in Feb 1968.

Col Peter Edward Robinson Wright was born 16 July 1910 at Toronto, Ontario.  He was educated at St. Andrews University, Scotland, and Osgoode Hall, Toronto.  His military service dates from his enrolment as a Lt in the Royal Regiment of Canada, 13 September 1939.  He then held various staff appointments with 4 Canadian Infantry Division, 2 Division, 1 Corps and the Canadian Planning Staff.  His first Intelligence appointment was as GSO (Int), HQ 1 Canadian Army, 21 June 1943.  He was later promoted Col GS (Int) HQ 1 Canadian Army, 3 May 1945, and served in this capacity to the end of the war.  During the post-war period, he helped to found the Canadian Military Intelligence Association and was appointed its First President.  His decorations include that of the Order of the British Empire, and Commander of the Order of Orange Nassau (with swords).  His post-war occupation was as a Barrister and QC in Toronto with the firm of Wright and McTaggart.  He also headed the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, an investment organization for promoting university training.

Canadian Intelligence Corps uniforms prior to 1968.

The Canadian Women's Army Corps

The Canadian Women's Army Corps Overseas C.W.A.C. operators at work on the telephone switchboard at Canadian Military Headquarters, London, September 1941.  Many served in Intelligence duties during the war and post-war with  Reserve Intelligence Sections across Canada.

RCN Intelligence Post War

RCN McDonnell Banshee jet fighter and HMCS Bonaventure.

Naval Intelligence, which had grown in size and prominence during the Second World War, shifted its focus to the Soviet threat after 1945.  During April 1948, the Directorate of Naval Intelligence (DNI) came back into existence and would maintain its organizational framework within the Navy until the 1960s.  The RCN also maintained a number of radio stations to collect data in support of communications research.  Naval Intelligence responsibilities for trade protection partly ended in 1950, when responsibilities were shifted to the Directorate of Naval Plans and Operations in Ottawa.

RCAF Intelligence Post War

During the early 1950s, an Intelligence staff supported the RCAF's 1 Air Division in Europe. This Division later became 1 Canadian Air Group until its disbandment in Germany in 1992.

Korean War

During the 75th Anniversary of the C Int C and the 35th Anniversary celebration of the Intelligence Branch events in Kingston, Colin Schlachta wore a Korean War era C Int C uniform, shown here with the author in present day uniform.  Quite a change.

HMCS Athabaskan, R79, ca Aug 1951 off the coast of Korea.  (RCN Photo)

During the Korean conflict, No. 1 Field Security Section (FSS) was included as part of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade. This Section included representatives from both active and Reserve Forces.

Canadian Korea Medal

Awarded to Canadian military personnel for one day on the strength of an army unit in Korea; or 28 days afloat; or one sortie over Korea by a member of the RCAF, 02 July 1950 - 27 July 1953.

United Nations Service Medal (Korea)

The medal was earned for serving one day under United Nations' command in Korea or adjacent areas, including Japan and Okinawa. The medal could also be awarded for an aggregate of thirty days, which need not have been consecutive, spent on official visits of inspection to the qualifying area. The qualifying period was 27 June 1950 to 27 July 1954 (one year longer than for the Canadian Korean War Medal).

C Int C in the Cold War

The Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Airforce made commitments as Canada's contribution to NATO and, commencing in 1951, began tours of duty in Germany and in France. In 1953, with the official openings of Camps and Wings, wives and children were allowed to join their husbands and fathers.

The Cold War – Training and Reserves

            One important early development of concern to the C Int C was the establishment and operation of an Intelligence training school at Camp Petawawa in 1947.  Courses were conducted at the Canadian School of Military Intelligence (CSMI) for both active and later Reserve force personnel of all Corps.  The training of Reserve personnel became a requirement in 1948, when “the Canadian Militia was authorized six Intelligence Training Companies.”

           In Aug 1950, the Department of Defence formally authorized the formation of a number of Militia Intelligence Training Companies.  The following six came into existence between 1948 and 1950: No. 1 Int Trg Coy was located in Montreal, No. 2 Int Trg Coy in Toronto, No. 3 Int Trg Coy in Halifax, No. 4 Int Trg Coy in Vancouver, No. 5 Int Trg Coy in Winnipeg and No. 6 Int Trg Coy in Edmonton.

The basic aim of these companies was to provide a pool of trained manpower to augment the Regular Force.  Many of these Militia personnel were taken into the Regular Force in the early 1950s with the onset of the Korean War.  It was during this same period that Field Security Sections and other Corps representatives were dispatched to both Korea and Germany.

The Canadian Forces has gone through a number of challenges and changes.  For example, No. 4 Intelligence Training Company was initially formed in Vancouver on 30 Aug 1950.  On 15 July 1956, the minister of national defence approved the relocation of a detachment to Edmonton.  Two years later Western Command proposed that the detachment in Edmonton should form a new company; however the chief of general staff rejected the proposal at the time.  On 7 Feb1962, the detachment was formally designated.  These reserve units went through a fresh stand-up in 1995:

2 Intelligence Company, Toronto.

3 Intelligence Company, Halifax.

4 Intelligence Company (4e Compagnie du renseignement), Montreal.

6 Intelligence Company, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Intelligence Company Nos. 1 and 5 are now dormant.

7 Intelligence Company, Ottawa.  Ottawa's reserve intelligence unit, originally named 2 Intelligence Platoon, was established 18 February, 1993 by the Treasury Board as a support unit for the Special Service Force, in Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.  The unit was transferred to 1st Canadian Division in 1994 and then to 4th Canadian Division (then called Land Force Central Area) on 8 April 1995.  The unit was officially renamed 7 Intelligence Company on 18 July 2013.  In April, 2017, 7 Intelligence Company was incorporated into the Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment, a unit of the Canadian Combat Support Brigade within 5 Canadian Division.

Between 1948 and 1960, the Joint Air Photo Interpretation School (JAPIS) existed at Rivers, Manitoba. In 1950, the Air Photo Interpretation Centre (APIC) was formed at Rockcliffe, Ontario, where No. 1 Army Photo Interpretation Section (APIS) was established in 1953. These three organizations were united to form the Joint Photographic Interpretation Centre (JAPIC) in Ottawa. A series of integration activity since then transformed JAPIC into the Defence Photographic Interpretation Centre (CPIC), CF Photo Interpretation Unit (CFPIU), Directorate of Imagery Exploitation (DIE) and most recently CF Joint Imagery Centre (CFJIC).

Canadian Intelligence Corps buckle, Silver and Green Shoulder Flash, Kings's Crown cap badge and collar dog (1942-1952)

Canadian Intelligence Corps Queen's Crown cap badge and Army trade qualification badges (1952-1968).

The C Int C Group Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 Trade badges (1953-1968) are khaki with a True North Star and Magnetic North Star for Group 1, a laurel wreath added for Group 2, a King Edward Crown (no wreath) for Group 3, and a Crown and wreath for Group 4.  No trade badges were worn from 1968 to 1982.  Some time in the 1980s, the trade badges came back, with the Land (Army) elements having Trade Qualification Level 1 (TQ1) with just a True North Star, TQ2 with the star and wreath, TQ3 with a star and crown and TQ4 with a star, wreath and crown worn on the garrison jacket.  Trade badges are not worn by Army Officers.

Canadian Intelligence Corps cap badge - Queen's Crown (1952-1968).

Sinister Sam (hand-carved wooden statue).

Canadian Intelligence Corps bronze memorial plaque mounted on a cairn at the former Canadian School of Military Intelligence (CSMI) and the later Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS) parade square, CFB Borden, Ontario.

In 1952, training activities for Regular and Militia personnel were moved from Petawawa to the newly-created CSMI at Camp Borden. Until unification in 1968, the C Int C provided Intelligence personnel for the Canadian Army, the Clerk-Intelligence trade supported the RCAF and the RCN employed operational personnel on intelligence duties.

UN Duty in Cyprus

Canadian Military Intelligence Platoon in Cyprus. Lt Phil E. Bachand heads the list of C Int C personalities.  Sgt John L. Kirchner, Sgt R. Bernie Gray, Sgt J. Wally Webster, Cpl Jack A. Cuvelier, Cpl G. Ed Forde, Cpl Ernie R. Smith, and Pte Barry A. Boyce complete the list.  The GSO 3 (Int) is Capt J.G. H Ferguson of the Fort Garry Horse.  Lt Ken E. Edmonds died while on service in Cyprus in December 1964.

On United Nations duty all Canadian service personnel wore the UN cap badge (cloth or metal) on a blue beret and a shoulder flash.

Intelligence Integration, 1968

During the early 1960's the Canadian Government was exploring the possibility of amalgamating the three Services into a single, unified command structure. Although the government publicly stated that there was full consultation with the military, the process was essentially enacted by decree. The Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force ceased to exist and became the Sea, Land, and Air Elements of the Canadian Armed Forces. Individual Corps and Services common to the three elements such as Provost, Signals, Medical, Ordnance and Chaplains were unified and designated as Branches. New uniforms (the CF Greens) were authorised, and the rank structure unified.

(Author Photo)

Browning 9-mm semi-automatic pistol issued to the author during range training, ca 1973.

Canadian Forces Security Branch (1968-1982)

The Police and Intelligence units of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force were amalgamated into the Canadian Armed Forces Security and Intelligence Branch on 1 Feb 1968.  New insignia, Branch Colours and a Branch March were approved.  In the 1980's the Intelligence part of the Branch separated to become it's own service. The policing portion of the Branch was renamed the Security And Military Police Branch.  In 1999, the Branch was renamed again and designated the Military Police Branch.

The Security cap badge was introduced about 1970, it was originally worn by all ranks, although many former members of the Canadian Intelligence Corps, the RCN and the RCAF Clerk Intelligence trade could be seen wearing their old cap badges until the mid 1970's.  Security Branch collar badges were being worn shortly before the cap badge was issued.  A large number of collar badges in dark green on gold were produced in the early 1970s before being replaced by the full colour current pattern.  Security collar badges were worn by all ranks below Colonel on the CF Green jacket and Army DEU jacket.

Canadian Intelligence Corps, Canadian School of Military Intelligence, bronze plaque on a memorial cairn located near the Logistics Branch HQ, CFB Borden, Ontario.

Each of Canada's post-integration Army Brigades held Intelligence Sections on strength.

1 CMBG with its HQ in Calgary, now moved to Edmonton, Alberta.  2 CMBG with its HQ in Petawawa, Ontario.  Its predecessor was the First Special Service Force (centre badge).  4 CMBG with its HQ in Lahr, Germany, disbanded in 1993.  5e GBMC with its HQ in Valcartier, Quebec.

The Canadian Airborne Regiment had its own Regimental Intelligence Section on strength.

Intelligence Branch personnel serving with the Canadian Airborne Regiment wore the regimental cap badge (cloth or metal) on a maroon beret, which was part of the FSSF before being disbanded.

1988, Canadian Airborne Regiment Intelligence WO John Cranston, left, Regimental Intelligence Officer Captain Hal Skaarup right, on Ex Capitol Stroll, a few days march to base from the Connaught Ranges, near Ottawa, back to Petawawa.

The Canadian Intelligence Corps Marchpast: "Silver and Green".

The Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch Marchpast: "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik".

In 1978, the CRAVEN Report, proposed that ADM(PER) separate the CF Police and Intelligence personnel comprising the unified Security Branch and reorganize them independently into a structured Security Branch and a new Intelligence Branch. Following further studies, discussions and recommendations, DGIS concurred with the CRAVEN Report and on 3 December 1981 the CDS directed that separate Security and Intelligence Branches each containing the applicable officer classification and trade be established, with an implementation target date of 1 October 1982. On 29 October 1982, a ceremony was held at the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS) which inaugurated the new Intelligence Branch and rededicated the Security Branch.  This was the 40th anniversary of the birth of the C Int C.

(Inga kk Photo)

Vietnam, 1974, Bell UH-1H Iroquois flown for the ICCS.

Intelligence Branch members Maj Tom F. Davie, Capt Bernie N. Wright and WO Gary W. Handson served in Vietnam with the International Commission for Control and Supervision (ICCS).

During the First Indochina War (19 Dec 1946 to 20 July 1954) between France and the Indo-Chinese nationalist and communist parties, Canada remained militarily uninvolved but provided modest diplomatic and economic support to the French. Canada was, however, part of the International Control Commission (ICC) (along with Poland and India) that oversaw the 1954 Geneva Agreements that divided Vietnam, provided for French withdrawal and would have instituted elections for reunification by 1956. Behind the scenes, Canadian diplomats tried to discourage both France and the United States from escalating the conflict in a part of the world Canadians had decided was not strategically vital.

Canadian negotiators were secretly involved in exchanging messages between the U.S. and North Vietnam on behalf of the Americans, with the approval of the Canadian government. Canada tried to mediate between the warring countries, aiming for a conclusion that could allow the U.S. to leave the conflict honorably.

Between 28 Jan and 31 July 1973, Canada provided 240 peacekeeping troops to Operation Gallant, the peace keeping operation associated with the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) Vietnam, along with Hungary, Indonesia, and Poland. Their role was to monitor the cease-fire in Vietnam per the Paris Peace Accords. After Canada's departure from the Commission, it was replaced by Iran. The work of the ICCS continued until the April 1975 fall of Saigon.

The Protocol to the Paris Agreement detailed the functions of the ICCS. At Article 4 it named the locations of seven regional teams and twenty-six teams within those regions in Vietnam. It also called for seven teams to be assigned to ports of entry (for replacement of armaments, munitions and war material permitted the two Vietnamese parties under Article 7 of the Agreement) and seven teams to supervise the return of captured and detained personnel.

In summary, the ICCS was to supervise the cease-fire, the withdrawal of troops, the dismantlement of military bases, the activity at ports of entry and the return of captured military personnel and foreign civilians. It was to report on the implementation, or violation, of the Peace Agreement and Protocols. As with the old ICSC, there were continuous disagreements between the communist and non-communist nations about the causes of treaty violations. Canada attempted to counter this with an "open mouth policy" to the world's media.

For reasons of distance and for reasons of safety, in a time of conflict, the ICCS often traveled by air. Requiring pilots experienced at flying over mountain and jungle, and men accustomed to the unpredictable military background of the region, the ICCS gave a contract to a locally well-established operation, Air America. Initially under the command of Colonel J. A. Mitchell, of Canada, this organization gave a coat of white paint to its aircraft and panels indicating 'ICCS', to operate as: ICCS Air Services. Captain Charles Laviolette (-1973), 12e Régiment blindé du Canada ICCS Canada, was the only Canadian fatality with the ICCS, though others were lost with the ICC.

During the period there were 18,000 alleged cease-fire violations, which resulted in over 76,000 killed, wounded and missing to both sides: on 29 May 1973 the Canadians announced that they were withdrawing from the ICCS because they had come to supervise a ceasefire but were instead observing a war.

Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch (1982 to present day)

Intelligence Branch, Air Intelligence wing, current Intelligence Branch cap badge, Army Intelligence  trade badge, early CF Intelligence garrison belt buckle and current Intelligence Branch dress belt buckle.

Army Intelligence Trade badges, TQ 1, TQ 2, TQ 3 and TQ 4, worn on the right hand sleeve of the DEU dress uniform.

The RCAF Intelligence Operators began to wear a half wing with the star in 1986.  These badges are worn above the right breast pocket on the blue DEU service dress. The Officer's version has a gold star and the Non Commissioned Member's version has a silver star.

The RCN Intelligence staff wear just the star with a maple leaf over the top of the star (no additional variations), in dark blue and gold, worn on both the lapels of the blue Navy DEU jacket.  Other ranks wear a gold crown over a gold star on a white background on the dress white shirt.

The Army Intelligence Branch green cloth badge is worn on the combat field hat.

The first pattern Intelligence cap badge issued in 1982 was gilt and enamel.  The second variation worn by all ranks is a cloth badge worn on the beret.  Intelligence Branch Officers wear a wire embroidered badge with a metal star.

Operational Deployments

A great number of Intelligence Branch personnel have served overseas on almost all operations deployments.

Map of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the NATO medal for service in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Medals earned by members of the Intelligence Branch for service with UNPROFOR, Kosovo, Haiti, Rwanda and East Timor.

Many Intelligence Branch members have also served with North American Aerospace Command,and United States Northern Command.  McDonnell F-15 Eagle intercepting a Soviet Bear bomber.  (Photo courtesy of the USAF)

More than 40,000 Canadian Sevicemen and Women have served in Afghanistan since 2002, many of them members of the Intelligence Branch.  (Author serving with the Kabul Multi-National Brigade (KMNB), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in Kabul in 2004).

Author, Former Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel for 3 Intelligence Company (Halifax), Feb 2015 - Feb 2018.

3 Intelligence Company

3 Intelligence Company (3 Int Coy) is a line unit of the Canadian Armed Forces assigned to support the Canadian Army, and reports directly to the 5th Canadian Division, with both headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Intelligence personnel assigned to the unit train regularly to augment Regular Force counterparts on domestic and foreign operations thereby enabling the “total force” concept which comprises both a regular and reserve component.

On 15 Nov 1950, HQ Eastern Command authorized the formation of 3 Intelligence Company.  3 Intelligence Training Company was given the important role of being the Intelligence Unit responsible to Group HQ.  3 Intelligence Company was formally stood up at the Queen Street Armouries on 7 February 1951, by Major Edward Fairweather Harrington, the units first Commanding Officer.  This new company office was located on the corner of Queen and Spring Garden Roads.

During the 1950s the role of 3 Intelligence Training Company encompassed a wide number of subjects/topics including: the monitoring of the enemy order of battle; equipment recognition; training in interrogation of POW; Security training; Air Photo Interpretation; Foreign Languages Training; and map provisioning.

Former Commanding Officers of 3 Intelligence Company, Halifax, 5 Nov 1975.

Standing: BGen George C. Piercey, Maj Ken N. Lord, LCol W.A. Landry, Maj R.V.A. Swetnam. Seated: Maj E.F. Harrington, Col C.R. Raefe Douthwaite.

Dissolved at Unification in Feb 1968, the unit became the HQ Militia Area Atlantic Security Platoon.  Unit members (including the author from Feb 1971 to March 1978), continued to wear the C Int C insignia for many years until Reserve personnel were issued the Security badge.  This changed on the stand up of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch on 29 Oct 1982 when all were issued the new Intelligence badge.  Thee current unit was stood up on 4 November 1995 at a parade near the old library building in Royal Artillery Park, downtown Halifax.

In its lifetime, the Intelligence Company has had many homes.  Initially 3 Intelligence Training Company was housed in the Queen Street Armouries at the corner of Queen Street and Spring Garden Road (near the present day Halifax Central Library).  The first move took place in 1952 when the unit moved to the Barrington Street Armouries.  The next move was in 1958, was to the Halifax Armoury at the Corner of Cunard and North Park Sreets, the location that was to last for 14 years.  The unit moved again in 1972, to Building 3 on Ahern Avenue.  This building was located at the base of the Citadel Hill.  In 1986, the unit moved to Building 1 on Ahern Avenue.  In 1991, with the implementation of Land Forces Atlantic Area HQ, the Intelligence Section (Platoon) moved to the old MARCOM building located at the corner of South and Barrington Streets.  In 1995 the Intelligence Unit moved from the MARCOM building to Building 6, Royal Artillery Park.  In the summer of 2002, 3 Int Coy moved to its present home at Windsor Park in Halifax.

3 Intelligence Company is identified in the Intelligence Master Development Plan (IMDP), as both a national and regional Intelligence augmentation unit.  Its role, as it was for 3 Intelligence Training Company in 1951 is training.  This role in many ways embraces many of the same themes as the former company.

In 2013, the capability of 3 Int Coy was elevated beyond the training capacity to also include the provision of force generation through the addition of the 3 Int Coy High Readiness Intelligence Support Team (HR IST). This HR IST is a full time Class B High Readiness Intelligence Support Team tasked to support the Comd 5 Div to fulfill tasking to deploy 2 x Intelligence Support Teams concurrently in the event of a domestic operation and the deployment of the Div Incident Response Unit (IRU).  The company also continues to provide Intelligence support to all collective training events and exercises. In line with the “total force” concept, the unit continues to routinely deploy one or two personnel a year to support assigned Regular Force international military missions.

Evolution of the true north and magnetic north arrows on Canadian Corps of Guides, Canadian Cyclist Corps, Canadian Intelligence Corps and Intelligence Branch cap badges.

Present day Intelligence Branch cap badge.

“The successful Intelligence officer must be cool, courageous, and adroit, patient and imperturbable, discreet and trustworthy. He must understand the handling of troops and have a knowledge of the art of war. He must be able to win the confidence of his General, and to inspire confidence in his subordinates. He must have resolution to continue unceasingly his search for information, even in the most disheartening circumstances and after repeated failures. He must have endurance to submit silently to criticism, much of which may be based on ignorance or jealousy. And he must be able to deal with men, to approach his source of information with tact and skill, whether such source be a patriotic gentleman or an abandoned traitor.”[1]

[1] Anthony Clayton, Forearmed - A History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 13.

New collar dogs for the C Int C.  On 29 October 2020, C Int C badges from the "neck down" were restored to a modern version of those worn originally from 1942-1968.

Canadian Forces Intelligence Group badge.  Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, represents the Group’s tasks of searching and gathering information. She is shown in a shooting position to indicate that the members of the Group focus on a common target. The compass rose is a symbol traditionally associated with intelligence units. The black and white background indicates that the group operates night and day. The mount evokes the worldwide scope of operations of the Group.  The Latin phrase "Venator Collector", means “Hunter-gatherer”.  Badge approved 20 Nov 2014.

Canadian Forces Intelligence Command badge.

Met Tech QL trade badge.

The C Int C is the historical perpetuator of the (Canadian) Corps of Guides, the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion and the Cyclists of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  It is comprised of all Canadian Army members of the Intelligence Branch, including Intelligence Officers, Intelligence Operators, Meteorological Technicians, and Source Handlers.

Le C Rens C est le successeur historique de le Corps (canadien) des guides, le bataillon de cyclistes du Corps canadien et les cyclistes du Corps expéditionnaire canadien. Il est composé de tous les membres de l'Armée canadienne de la Branche du renseignement, y compris des officiers du renseignement, des opérateurs du renseignement, des techniciens en météorologie et des gestionnaires de sources.